Sunday, November 12, 2006

The art of making gifts.

Alcohol is a peculiar way of achieving happiness.
Technically it is a poison and leaves bad after-effects; and it is habit forming.
Yet drink survives and needs no apology from me, when the majority of the human race, including many of its wisest members, have been defending it for thousands of years.
In youth it offers stimulus, in old age comfort.

I come from a family where wine was, if not the most important in daily life, at least one of the most important.
My grandfather never left his house to go to parties or just visit some friends (and he had many who shared the same passion) without a bottle of the finest Barolo or Barbaresco.
But his favorite was the Barbera.
I remember the time we went to his sister's golden wedding in Menton and he carried in the back of the car a full damigiana of the finest wine (25 liters).
He said: "Three days would be too long without my wine, and besides I do not want to risk to be poisoned by those "French wines". The only good thing they are good for is making vinegar."
Too good no French wine maker heard that, he would have exploded.
But in his distorted logic there was some truth.
You would never be able to make a good vinegar out of a Good Strong Barbera, while you would make a perfect one out of a light rose'.

I think I inherited his habit toward wines.
I do not drink much, but I always have a bottle of good wine as a gift to somebody special.
You can never make a mistake with such a present.
You can be sure it will be appreciated and used sooner or later.
Especially if it is a vintage or premium wine.
Wine is also perfect for corporate and business gift.

Or what about beginning to collect special bottles?
The cellar in my family was always a special place.
The living room for the special guest.
In Italy you think of decorating your cellar even before the bedroom.
And of course with this or that special bottle.
You can find all the rarest wines in this rare wine company and begin to collect them.
And you can have special prices for quantity.
You can buy many and you'll always have a special gift for someone.
You can be sure your present will always be highly appreciated.
Not only, if, as they say, wine melts the tongue, it surely melts the heart of the receiver and helps relationships. And THAT can be Strategically important in a business relationship.
Or you will be able to have a special bottle to open for a special occasion.
Or just a special occasion to open a special bottle.

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